• Commented on Psychology and Business are Related
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  • Posted Psychology and Business are Related to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Although this psychology class only lasted one semester, its lessons have had a life-long impact on me. Five years from now, I will remember the discussion we had on whether or not IQ tests should be used in the hiring process. Both sides had very good arguments. The people who were in favor of using IQ tests insisted that a person's IQ score is highly correlated with job success. The people who wanted to eliminate the use of IQ tests, however, claimed that some jobs require skills that cannot be measured with IQ tests, such as coping with stressful job situations, and that IQ tests give minorities a disadvantage. This battle over whether or not IQ tests are a valuable tool to use when hiring employees will not end soon. This lesson will likely stay with me the rest of my life. This is because I plan on majoring in marketing and entering the business world in the near future. Someday, I may start my own business and be responsible for hiring employees. This discussion on IQ will be helpful to keep in mind if this becomes a reality. I tend to focus too much on how school-smart a person is, such as their grades or scores on major tests. However, I need to remember that this information only tells part of the story and it leaves out some important details. For example, IQ scores say nothing about how friendly a person is. If I only focus on IQ, I may end up hiring someone who is rude to customers and many customers may choose not to return. Psychology has many real-world applications. In addition, psychology and business work hand in hand....
  • Posted Multiple Intelligences to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Looking back on high school, I'm sure that everyone can fit their fellow classmates into distinct cliques. Some students were geniuses and could solve complex math problems at lightning quick speeds without even needing to use a calculator. Others had no idea what 1+1 equaled, but they made up for that weakness by scoring game winning touchdowns or smashing the baseball out of the park every time they went up to bat. Howard Gardner believed that intelligence was more than just book smarts. He proposed the theory of multiple intelligences which divided intelligence into eight different categories, including logico-mathematical to describe math experts and bodily-kinesthetic to identify athletes. Each person has their own strengths and weaknesses, which shows why some people who are great at math may not be able to throw a baseball more than a foot. Caitlin Upton, a 2007 Miss Teen USA pageant contestant, is a real life example of multiple intelligences. As part of the Miss Teen USA competition, contestants are asked what they would do to solve serious problems that are currently afflicting the United States. As Caitlin Upton answered her prompt, she continuously repeated the same phrases over and over again, including "such as," and people were left baffled as to what she just said. This shows that Caitlin Upton possibly has weak interpersonal skills because people who possess this characteristic are known for inspiring people with their words. Nevertheless, correlation does not equal causation and a third variable may be involved. Her confusing speech could be due to a fear of speaking in front of big crowds, for example. After doing some research on her, one quickly learns that Caitlin Upton was an honor student and varsity soccer player in high school. As a result, she could be a high scorer in the logico-mathematical, linguistic, and bodily-kinesthetic intelligence categories. Every person has their own unique abilities. Although it is uncommon for people to score dramatically high in a few intelligence types and low in the remaining ones, people do tend to do better in some categories and worse in others. Multiple intelligences can teach everyone an important lesson: before you judge a person for not being smart in math, for example, remember that they could be the next great musician or athlete. Sources: - - -Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding, p. 322...
  • Posted The Sensitivity of Written Language to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    As this commercial suggests, many people's lives now revolve around technology. No longer do people meet up with their friends at the local coffee shop to have a cup of coffee together while catching up on the latest gossip or even use their phones to call people. Instead, people are relying more on technology to communicate with each other, such as emails, text messages, and facebook, to name a few. However, there are multiple downfalls that come with replacing face to face communication with technology. It is very easy for people to misinterpret written language. According to, around fifty percent of emails are interpreted the wrong way. A lifelong friendship can be destroyed in seconds after simply clicking the send button on an email or text message. One phrase that often appears in text messages is, "Oh okay." For example, I may ask a person if they want to go to the dining hall for dinner together or if they would be interested in going to the recreational center with me to go swimming. They may respond that they cannot go because they have already used up all of their meals for that week at the dining hall or that they have too much studying to do. After viewing their response, I may text back, "Oh okay." This can be interpreted in various ways depending on what syllable the emphasis is put on. A person may think it should be pronounced, "OH. OH-KAY." This makes it sound as if I am angry at them for not wanting to do anything with me. On the other hand, they could interpret the phrase as though my voice gets higher at the end, such as "oh oKAY!" This would mean that I respect their reason for not going and am just acknowledging that I received their text message. People often fail to realize the importance of facial expressions, gestures, and tone of voice in successful communication. There are many ways people can protect themselves from misinterpreted emails. Emoticons are becoming popular in communication technologies. People can place a smily face, consisting of a semi-colon followed by a left facing parenthesis, after something they say in an email to ensure that the comment is received lightheartedly and to let the recipient know that it was meant as a joke. Another technique that people could use would be to underline or italicize the word in the sentence that the emphasis is on. This would allow the person to hear the sentence in their head similar to the way that the person would actually say it. In addition, people should think twice before sending an email and reread their email to ensure that the wording of the email correctly depicts what they are trying to say. The safest thing to do, however, is to turn off the computer and meet with the person face to face. Video courtesy of: Information courtesy of:
  • Posted Do Twins Have a Secret Language? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    When this home video of two young twins appearing to talk to each other in a language unfamiliar to any outsiders was released, it was an instant hit. People immediately posted comments claiming that this was proof that babies indeed have their own secret language, while others tried to guess what these babies were actually talking about. Before you come up with your own funny translation, however, let us look deeper into this issue where a simpler explanation awaits. I'm sure there has been a time in everyone's life when they wished they were a twin. This is probably because people have the false idea that twins have a special way to communicate that nobody else can decipher. This idea is so well known that it even has its own name, cryptophasia. At first glance, this makes sense because you are likely to have a close bond with someone who you have spent your whole life with. However, this claim is no match for Occam's razor, one of the six principles of critical thinking, which proposes a simpler explanation. Since twins learn how to talk around the same time, it is likely that they make similar errors when speaking. As a result, the twins are able to recognize what the other one is trying to say while outsiders have no clue what the twins are talking about. Occam's razor has saved the day once again. But is this babbling completely pointless? Absolutely not! Although it is true that babbling consists of intentional, yet meaningless sounds that come out of a baby's mouth, these noises are the first step in learning how to talk. The babbling allows babies to experiment with their vocal tracts and discover how to create different sounds. By putting Occam's razor to use, we learned that it is unlikely that twins have a mysterious language that only they can comprehend. However, babbling should not be seen (or I guess heard) as an annoying, worthless noise because it plays an important part in helping an infant learn how to talk. Sources: Video courtesy of: Information courtesy of: Psychology: From Inquiry to Understanding Textbook, pages 290 and 297...
  • Posted REM Dreams Versus Non-REM Dreams to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Dreams are stories that keep us entertained while we are sleeping and our body is relaxing. Most dreams occur during rapid eye movement (REM) sleep, yet they can also take place during non-REM sleep. Dreams can be both logical or outlandish depending upon what stage of sleep they occur during. Many people enjoy having crazy dreams and they cannot wait to tell their friends about them the next day. These people should thank their forebrain because without it we would not be able to dream. Dreams that occur during REM sleep are usually ridiculous and involve situations that would never happen in real life, such as flying. When I was younger, I had a dream that I was with my family in a mysterious, foreign country. There was a strict leader there that would send his guards to kill you if you ever made eye contact with him. Within seconds, I was at my elementary school in Minnesota. Wait, what? How did this happen? I had just become living proof that REM dreams do indeed consist of erratic shifts in plot. The new part of my dream brought me to my elementary school where I was watching an airshow with my family. This makes absolutely no sense because the nearest airport is over five miles away and it would be dangerous to perform stunning loops with airplanes if there was no where to land safely if they had an emergency. As a result, this supports the theory that REM dreams tend to be unrealistic. However, the bizarreness did not end there. All of a sudden, hundreds of alien-filled spaceships appeared. As the crowd tried to rush inside the school, my alarm clock went off. Although this dream happened years ago, I still remember it since it was so strange. Dreams are known to contain more negative emotions than postive ones. My dream that night definitely backed this claim up because I was frightened that one of my family members would fall prey to the leader's violent ways or I would be abducted by aliens and never see my family again. Let's just say that I kept a close eye on the sky whenever my mom dropped my brother and I off at school for many days to come. Other dreams involve situations that occur in everyday life, such as homework or going to school. These dreams take place during non-REM sleep. Personally, I have had numerous dreams in which I am in the hallway at my junior high school. This reinforces the theory that non-REM dreams are repetitive. Every time I have this dream, I always have trouble finding where my classrooms are and the hallways are endless. In addition, I am always late to class because I keep getting distracted by my friends that I stop to chat to in the hallway. This dream always leaves me frustrated because one of my biggest fears is being late to class and getting detention. Again, this dream supports the idea that...
  • Posted Do we already have the resources needed to predict earthquakes? to Psych 1001 Section 010 and 011 Fall 2011
    Earthquakes are life-threatening phenomena that occur without notice. As a result, people are always looking for ways to predict them so that they have time to move their families to safe locations before the earthquakes strike. Some people believe that earthquakes are most likely to occur when the weather is hot and humid. Others are convinced that animals will act strangely before a major earthquake. However, many main ideas of psychology, including the six principles of critical thinking, can be used to discredit these outrageous statements. The Ring of Fire forms a large circle around the Pacific Ocean and is where many of the world's main tectonic plates come together. As a result, it is a hotspot for volcanoes and frequent earthquake activity. This helps disprove the claim that earthquakes are more probable during hot and humid weather through correlation versus causation. Instead of the weather being the cause of the earthquake, it could be a third variable altogether, such as location. Places along the ocean are usually more humid than landlocked areas due to the wet air blowing in from the ocean. In addition, the Ring of Fire includes areas that are near the equator, which are known for being boiling hot. Knowing this, it is clear that weather may not be a cause of earthquakes. The psychology principal of apophenia leads us to disprove the idea that animals will act peculiarly before an earthquake. Apophenia occurs when a person believes that two independent acts are related. On any given day, a person may view a squirrel erratically running around in a circle. Normally, a person will forget that this ever happened within a few days. However, if a devastating earthquake occurs later that afternoon, the person may wrongly come to the realization that the squirrel was acting that way due to the upcoming earthquake. Until someone finds a way to successfully forecast earthquakes, we will have to continue looking for ways to reduce the damage they cause, such as by building stronger buildings. However, their prophecies must hold up on multiple occasions in order to be taken seriously. Do you think that scientists will ever discover a reliable way to predict earthquakes? If so, do you think we already have the technologies needed to do so and all we need to do is put them to a better use? Article about the proposed causes of earthquakes courtesy of: Information about the Ring of Fire courtesy of: Ring of Fire image courtesy of:
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